Your messages of welcome for our Sanctuary Scholarship students

This summer, we asked alumni, staff, students and friends of the University of Bristol to contribute pictures and messages of welcome for our newest cohort of Sanctuary Scholarship students.

These students, who all come from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds, have been able to take up places at the University of Bristol because of the Sanctuary Scholarship programme. Each scholarship is a lifeline that makes a world of difference to the recipient.

We were so overwhelmed by the volume and heartfelt nature of the messages; we wanted to say a huge thank you and share some of our favourites with you. You can head to our Facebook page to see the full selection of messages.

“I wanted to send a welcome photo to show that Bristol is a safe and welcoming city for all, including people seeking sanctuary from war, violence, persecution and impact of climate change. And also to offer our solidarity to the University of Bristol for launching a programme which offers life-changing practical support to refugees and asylum seekers who are coming to study in our diverse city of hope.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

”Saying welcome means so much more than just a hello. It means that I see you, I acknowledge you and that you belong here. I hope that as our asylum-seeking and refugee students step through the University’s doors they take comfort in knowing that this is a place where they belong and that we will fight for you.”

Kofo Ajala (BA 2020)

“The Sanctuary Scholarship programme is incredibly important and a shining example of what Bristol is all about. The situation a person is born into should never deprive them from opportunity and success but sadly it often does. It is such a blessing to be able to give a fresh start to someone who needs it and lend a helping hand to those who are doing their best to triumph over adversity.”

Emily Miller (MA 2013)

“The Sanctuary Scholarship programme is an important step in the wider project of helping to reduce barriers to access to higher education. But the University community will also be enriched both socially and intellectually by the particular talents and perspectives each scholarship holder brings.”

Katharine Charsley, Professor of Migration Studies at the University of Bristol

“No one should be prevented from fulfilling their potential purely because of the country they live in, or the regime that they live under. The Sanctuary Scholarship programme is a small, but extremely important and effective way to give others hope that they will be able to fulfill their own potential and by doing so take a step towards making our world a better place.”

Jon Kanter (BA 1992)

“Some people have the yearning to acquire knowledge and the work ethic to match it, but they don’t have the financial resources to make their dreams a reality. The Sanctuary Scholarship programme is extremely important because by providing people with the finances to pursue their studies, not only does it allow individuals to follow their dreams, it benefits the wider community – as that person could go on to change the world with the knowledge they’ve gained.”

Roy Kiruri, International Students Officer at Bristol Students’ Union

We were so humbled to hear all of your words of support and have passed these messages on to our scholars via the Sanctuary Scholarships team. We know that they will make the world of difference and mean so much to the scholars who are about to start their Bristol journey.

If you’d like to help us to create more scholarships for refugee and asylum-seeking students, then please head to our website to make a donation. Your support today could completely transform the life of a student in need in the future. Thank you so much for helping us to open doors for even more brilliant scholars.

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